The pharmaceutical industry has been booming ever since the pandemic outbreak with billions being invested in targeted clinical trials, accelerated vaccine development and abundant digital solutions. It is thanks to innovative pharma software solutions that companies develop new drugs faster, distribute personal data from clinical trials securely and generally accelerate time-to-market (TTM). On the other hand, for most young people, technology primarily means convenience. Think of digital Covid-19 passports using a mobile app to avoid travel restrictions.
However, from my experience working in a bespoke software development company specialising in healthcare and pharma digital solutions, I am convinced that new technologies have a much bigger role in our society. They helped global businesses survive during the harsh lockdowns and helped us stay connected despite social distancing. In a medical context, besides assuring secure remote healthcare delivery and impeccable EHR tools, custom pharma software is the driving force that immensely helps navigate daily operations (research, marketing, sales) and sets it all in motion.
Here are the most essential use cases of custom pharmaceutical software that you need to know as an industry insider.
1. Seamless Digital Documentation Process
Only a couple of years ago, the entire documentation surrounding drug development used to be on paper. In the pharma industry, it is a common scenario to have tons of paperwork that needs to be filled out, signed and sent forward. Stringent regulatory requirements within the industry such as CGMP, USP, FDCA or ICH require thorough step-by-step documentation to ensure the highest medication safety, effectiveness and quality at all times.
Not only is the manual documentation approach time-efficient but it is also not sustainable. Besides, it is time-consuming for employees to constantly scan, print, sing and send paper documents. Nowadays, this process is done effortlessly thanks to smart, innovative software such as HelloSign, a Dropbox company, providing legally binding electronic signatures. Custom software solutions can easily integrate such third-party apps to deliver secure handling of pharma orders, contract management or warehouse dispatchment.
2. CRM Software to Take Care of Key Relationships
CRM systems are Customer Relationship Management tools and a powerful asset for every pharmaceutical company. Essentially, what they do is help your business manage all strategic relationships and communication with partners, clients, vendors and contractors. CRM helps you retain existing customers and easily acquire new ones.
Although they operate in the same industry, each pharma company is unique and has unique customer data. Especially in the digital era we live in, data itself and how you handle it is of crucial importance for success. Thus, it is only natural that businesses need a secure place to store, analyse and manage all this information about companies and clients. Some businesses prefer off-the-shelf commercial products like spreadsheets, but these will never entirely suit your individual needs. A reliable CRM custom solution opens new doors for you to keep track of all your leads, automate communication and attract new customers.
3. All You Have and All You Need: ERP for Pharma
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is an indispensable software solution for pharma companies. This technology puts a strong emphasis on planning, controlling and managing resources, e.g. capital, personnel, operating resources, materials, logistics and finance. Let’s not forget that the megatrend called digital transformation is currently disrupting the industry, with 30% of companies saying that Covid-19 accelerated its adoption with more than 6 years. This also urges companies to innovate their processes to adapt to the increasing market demands for shorter production cycles, process transparency and cost-effectiveness.
A custom ERP tool aligns all available resources in a timely manner with a focus on current needs and requirements. The aim is to ensure an efficient operational value-added process and continuously optimized management of corporate and operational processes. Some of the great advantages this type of software offers are that it integrates and coordinates all core processes such as manufacturing, packaging, quality control, delivery orders, distribution, etc. The huge value it can bring to the pharma industry is that custom pharma ERP also entails step-by-step information and necessary data for business processes and their execution.
4. Online Research & Information Sharing Platforms
To secure their market positions, pharma companies need to incorporate diligent R&D (Research and Development) practices and rely on up-to-date information. In the digital era we all live in, data quality and accessibility are two of the most decisive factors for successful business performance. Thus, having reliable on-point data through your custom software is a necessity for knowledge-driven pharma enterprises. With the right technical partners to develop custom pharma software, companies can personalise features and design interactive modules that contribute to a seamless workflow.
Thanks to the Internet and next-generation digital technologies, nowadays, it is possible to access the newest research on trending topics such as immunology, vaccines, digital healthcare and many more. However, it is equally important to have trustworthy platforms that enable scientists, pharmacists and medical professionals to share their findings with others. For example, the YODA project (Yale Open Data Access) is partnering with many leading pharma companies to provide accessible clinical data sharing – a crucial element for developing new medicine and finding use cases of existing drugs.
5. Towards Evidence-Based Healthcare: AI in Pharma
The whole world was amazed at the fast development speed of the Covid-19 vaccines, but there are several contributing factors that we have to be aware of. First of all, the novel coronavirus had some similarities with SARS 1 and the MERS virus, so researchers didn’t have to start from scratch. Second, many pharma companies performed research at the same time and tons of investments flowed into it. Third, procedures like rolling reviews accelerate data assessment and TTM, and high infection rates provide more test subjects for clinical trials.
Currently, AI and ML (Machine Learning) in particular is utilised to scrape large amounts of available data, analyse it and give reliable predictions based on complex algorithms. Some experts already consider it possible that in the near future, we can use AI to design vaccines, provide preventive cancer screenings and suggest treatment options. Ultimately, this will bring the pharma industry to a whole new level, and tech-savvy companies using custom software solutions will be in the front row as innovations take place.
Author Biography Aleksandrina Vasileva
Aleksandrina is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen оn innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background, mixed with interests in psychology, drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and an enthusiastic blogger, alway